AC #600 Integrated Circuit Engineering Collection Series 16

February 14, 1976   Description:

    A series of 1976 reviews of  Don Hoefler's Microelectronics News

    ICE Collection - Project File 10085 - March 25, 1976 - review of :

MICROELECTRONICS NEWSLETTER
February 14, 1976

1. TOM SKORNIA
Somewhat of an industry spokesman on energy conservation matters, and more recently on the losing end of a legislature battle related to the point-of-sale (POS) automated checkout.

2. LES HOGAN
Les is indeed virtually unheard of these days except in his role as speechmaker. Don maligns Les a bit much for cutting R&D.Les threw the R&D types into production to fix up pressing problems there, and at the time (1971) such action was sorely needed.

3. OUTSIDE DESIGN HOUSES
A few of Don Farina's points should be emphasized. It is certainly true that the semiconductor firms are quite satisfied to have someone else take over the burden of engineering design and prototype evaluation. Also, the best design people tend to enjoy the illusive euphoria of entrepreneurship, which leads even the larger semiconductor houses (like National) to seek design and development services from outside firms (like RAMPOWER, for RAM design).

4. AMS
AMS was late in getting into the 4K race, partly as a result of being obstinate in pushing P-Channel metal-gate MOS past its point in time and competitiveness as compared to silicon-gate N-channel. The second-source arrangement with National was helpful in catching up, and AMS is now deeply involved in its own designs for 8K RAM (another mistake like the 2K) and a 16K RAM.

5. AMI 6800
If AMI has refocused efforts "to give full attention to the 6800," the results of that attention are not being felt yet. Both Motorola and MOS Technology would benefit if AMI were to become more aggressive in promoting the 6800, as it is steadily losing ground to the Intel 8080A.

6. TIMEX
Time isn't necessarily running out for Timex. When the watch business "matures" (i.e., prices bottom out), the game will change from a technology/manufacturing problem to a marketing battle. Timex has demonstrated its ability in this arena.

© 1976 Copyright Integrated Circuit Engineering Corporation


Hoefler's Microelectronics News, February 14, 1976


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